This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Environmental Outcomes of Collaborative Natural Resource Institutions




Adams, David

Type of Degree



Political Science


Across the United States there are collaborative partnerships and networks co-laboring to manage environmental and natural resources including our watersheds. There are over 2,000 of these watersheds in which at least half (as of 2002) have some form of collabora- tive management structure. We know much about why and how these partnerships form, but we do not know nearly as much about the environmental outcomes produced by their collaborative outputs. This dissertation analyzes the associations between water quality, mea- sured by state and federal Clean Water Act guidelines, and the institutional arrangement of stakeholder organizations within watersheds. This research tests the hypothesis that the re- lationship between insu cient water quality and collaborative partnerships is negative. Also tested is the relationship between this type of institutional arrangement and environmental outcomes as perceived by stakeholders. The data for this investigation comes from surveys of o cials at organizations conducting various watershed-related activities in a sample of watersheds across the fty states, as well as from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Decennial Census, state environmental agencies, and other sources.